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A former Hollywood movie executive is charged with embezzling millions of dollars in investor funds, the FBI alleged in a complaint that was unsealed Friday.
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William Sadleir, 66, is the former chairman and CEO of Aviron Pictures, a production and distribution company that participated in seven movies between 2015 and 2019. He’s accused of engaging in two fraudulent schemes related to a $75 million investment that BlackRock Multi-Sector Income Trust made in Aviron.
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Sadleir opened a bank account for a fake company and transferred $25 million of BlackRock’s investment that he’d claimed would be used for advertising, Department of Justice authorities said. Instead, Sadleir used $14 million from the funds to buy a Beverly Hills home.
To help pull off the scheme, Sadleir went as far as creating a fake identity named "Amanda Stevens" to send emails claiming Aviron had purchased $27 million in advertising credits, officials said.
Sadleir also forged signatures on paperwork in order to remove a lien BlackRock had on assets that he’d previously agreed to in order to secure the firm’s investment, according to the complaint.